Today I celebrate 15 years of coaching by remembering where my journey began – The wonderful world of non-competitive gymnastics!
I took my first coaching job at a small gym. It was wonderful. I could not have chosen a better environment to start my career than at a gym that fostered fun, confidence, and development without the worries of routines, deductions, and scores.
Although I enjoy the competitive world of gymnastics, I often yearn for my little gym of wonder. Unfortunately, 900 miles offers a bit of a challenge and so last week I opted for a place that although new to me, provided the nostalgia I was seeking.
THE LITTLE GYM
The moment I walked into The Little Gym, I felt the magic. Two seconds later my 2-year-old and her friend had their noses pressed on the glass dividing the viewing area from the gym. They were mesmerized. They were ready.
Soon moms, dads, and tots trickled through the front door. Parents greeted each other and caught up on weekly happenings. A few littles excitedly found cubbies for their shoes. The less patient attempted to join a class already in session – their plan quickly thwarted by a fast acting mom.
Then Ms. Kim gave the signal. What followed was 45 minutes of serious fun! Singing, clapping, running, jumping, laughing, rolling, swinging, crawling, climbing, and turning were included.
What I loved
One class: With only our class utilizing the space, my daughter was free to explore the kid-size equipment without interruption.
Age appropriate: The Little Gym offers four different parent-tot age groups (between 4 months and 3 years). That meant our class was designed for tots that were comparable in size, coordination, and social development.
Music: Clapping, singing and action songs kept my two-year-old’s interest and made each activity and transition exciting.
Aesthetically Pleasing: Clean, organized, and colorful are not always applicable adjectives to gymnastics centers, but The Little Gym nailed it!
3 Dimensional Learning
My experience was in a gymnastics class, but The Little Gym’s ‘Three-Dimensional Learning’ approach is applied to all of their programs including, Karate, Sports Skills, Dance, and KinderMusik. Their holistic philosophy offers development for children twelve and under based on three core tenets: ‘Get Moving’ to foster flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination; ‘Brain Boost’ to nurture listening skills, concentration and decision making; and ‘Citizen Kid’ to promote sharing, teamwork, cooperation and leadership abilities. Sounds great, right?
Are you looking for a non-competitive experience? Curious if there is a Little Gym near you? With over 300 locations, chances are good.
Disclosure: While I was compensated to write about my experience at The Little Gym all opinions are my own.